Michael Pierson (MAPSS, AM'15) receives 2016 Payne Prize from American Anthro Assoc.

Announcement Type: 

AQA announces Michael Pierson as recipient of the 2016 Kenneth W. Payne Prize


The Kenneth W. Payne Student Prize is presented each year by the Association for Queer Anthropology (AQA) of the American Anthropological Association to a graduate or undergraduate student in acknowledgment of outstanding anthropological work on 1) a lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans* topic, or 2) a critical interrogation of sexualities and genders more broadly defined.


Nineteen students (ten undergraduate and nine graduate) submitted papers and films this year. Submissions were evaluated according to the following criteria: use of relevant L/G/B/T/Q and/or feminist anthropological theory and literature, potential for contribution to and advancement of L/G/B/T/Q studies and our understanding of sexualities worldwide, attention to difference (such as gender, class, race, ethnicity, nation), originality, organization and coherence, and timeliness.


The 2016 recipient of the Payne Prize:


Michael Pierson (MAPSS – University of Chicago) for the paper “Viscous Frictions and Vagabond Friendships: Affecting Public Intimacy at Salonathon.” 


The abstract reads:

Salonathon is a weekly live-performance event in Chicago that attracts marginal, minoritized, and outsider artists and participants. This paper questions how Salonathon composes spaces of intimacy, repair, and collective closeness among diverse participants. It considers how attachments made with strangers in intimate counterpublics hold open futures through creative reimaginations, sense and non-sense making, and temporalities of patience. Through ethnographic fieldwork, this paper traces ephemeral and affecting episodes of public intimacy that stimulate enduring patterns of care, communication, and friendliness to entail a context bearing resources for alternative world building projects.


The 2016 Payne Prize recipient will be recognized at the AQA Business meeting during the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association (Minneapolis, MN) November 16-20, 2016.


The 2016 Payne Prize Committee: Michael Connors Jackman (Memorial University of Newfoundland), Tayo Jolaosho (University of South Florida - 2016 Payne Prize Committee co-chair), Richard J. Martin (Harvard University), and Robert Phillips (Ball State University - 2016 Payne Prize Committee co-chair).



For additional information contact the Payne committee co-chairs Tayo Jolaosho (jolaosho@usf.edu) or Robert Phillips (rfphillips@bsu.edu).



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